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Pronunciation of är?

I was watching a YouTube video and the Swedish girl was saying "är" closer to "are" in English rather than the "air" pronunciation on Duolingo.

In what region is "är" pronounced more like the English "are" and should I say it like the English "are" (with the Swedish accent, of course) or like "air"?

Video in question: http://youtu.be/Puzyn3jOK5k?t=2m59s

February 12, 2015

1 Comment


In normal speech, <är> is generally pronounced ä /ɛ:/ or e /e:/, depending on region. The latter ('e') belongs to the Stockholm area, the West Coast and Scania as well as Jämtland to the north. The former ('ä') is used in the rest of Sweden.

When stressed it's pronounced either the same as above or as it's spelled, which is /æ:r/, that is with the same vowel as in English "cat". Not like air, not like are.

Despite what you may hear from native speakers, I assure you that the r-less pronunciation is way more common among Swedish speakers in colloquial speech. The spelling pronunciation naturally exists in everyday speech too, I'm not one to deny that, but people who consistently use that form only are rare if they exist at all.

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